Switzerland's cuisine is synonymous with fondue, cheese, chocolates and muesli. With meadows and pastures constituting a large portion of the Swiss farmlands, milk and milk products are the major agricultural products. It also produces some fine wines like the Riesling, Pinot Noir and Merlot, which are mostly consumed domestically. Switzerland makes and exports chocolates on a massive scale gaining a name for itself as a chocolate connoisseur's perfect destination.
The Swiss are famously the largest consumers of chocolate in the world! They have even got a Chocolate Train, which departs from Montreux on to Gruyeres (home of the famous cheese), and then onto the Nestle chocolate factory at Broc for sampling their delicious wares. This panoramic trip that takes you across stunning scenery of vineyards and medieval towns. You will also, always get a great cup of coffee across the country, as the Swiss are particular about getting only the best!
A day in the lovely old village of Epesses calls for a visit to the restaurant at the Auberge du Vigneron. Situated amidst the Alpine mountains overlooking the Lavaux vineyards, this restaurant is where you must head to savor scrumptious, regional cuisine. The fish, herbs, potatoes and wines they serve here, come from within 2 km of the restaurant. In fact, most veggies and herbs are grown by the restaurant right outside on the banks of the lake geneva.
The lingering aroma could very well be of the delectable Filet De Fera Au Calamin, which is fillet of whitefish in flavoursome Calamin, fennel fondue. Relishing this authentic preparation with the pleasant summer Tome salad (a type of cheese) is highly recommended. A meal here is incomplete without the heavenly Rum n Raisin dessert, and some of the best wines from the Lavaux region. The exquisite presentation of all the dishes, along with a magnificent view of Peyrepertuse castle and the vineyard, ensures your experience is nothing less than a visual and sensory treat.
Aroute de la Corniche, 1098 Epesses
Tel: +41 21 799 14 19 www.aubergeduvigneron.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.493523, 6.746422
The Molkerei Gstaad dairy prides itself for creating products that reflect the unique Gstaad flavour, a result of the best Swiss mountain milk and love for nature! Here, you have access to some of the finest home-made cheese and dairy products, such as the AOC Bernese Alpine cheese, Saanen Alpine cheese, the Gstaad Mountain cheese, and the enticing truffle fondue mixtures. However, what really steals the show is the Cheese Cave, also referred to as the Cheese Monument.
A steep flight of wooden steps take you to the evocatively lit world of Gstaad Cheese Grotto, which earlier functioned as a community water reservoir. Extending 25m underground, it is home to more than 3,000 varieties of cheeses, including some historical rarities. A tour of this grotto gets you acquainted with the techniques used in creating the world renowned cheeses of Gstaad, while a glass of exquisite wine makes the entire experience all the more delightful!
Molkerei Gstaad, Gsteigstrasse, 3780 Gstaad
Tel: +41 (0)33 744 11 15 www.molkerei-gstaad.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.4700556, 7.30516666
With culinary treats like traditional Swiss delicacies, international specialties, delectable in-between snacks and delightful desserts, a visitor would not mind gaining a pound or two. Victoria-Jungfrau is one such hotel, which strives to cover all of Interlaken's culinary excellence under one roof. Its numerous restaurants are trademarked with stylish setting, breathtaking view, along with unique and tantalizing flavours. With soft music for company, you can relish food from all around the world at Victoria-Jungfrau's La Terrasse restaurant. If you like to indulge in the culinary delights of Italian cuisine, Quaranto Uno is the place to be. You can enjoy contemporary Italian creations, and revel in the extensive wine knowledge shared by the sommelier.
Enjoy the best of Swiss cheese, wine, tomatoes and mushrooms combined best quality olive oil from Italy with white Alba truffles. The hotel houses Victoria Bar & Salon Davidoff (cigar room) where guests can enjoy a drink or two, and smoke some of the world's finest cigars.
Victoria-Jungfrau, Hoheweg 41-49, 3800 Interlaken
Tel: +41 33 828 28 28
GPS address for SatNav: 46.686695, 7.8573599
A must visit in the Bern area is the micro brewery Wabrau. Its restaurant is trademarked with rustic interiors, cozy atmosphere, brew kettles, pipes, taps and locals sharing a drink or two. Managed part time by a team of 12 people with day jobs, Brauerei Wabrau serves fresh hand-brewed beer on Fridays, and produces around 9,000 litres of beer annually! Gather together with the locals both young and old, and raise a drink to prosperity.
Gurtenareal 50, Wabern bei Bern, CH- 3084
Tel: +41 31 961 89 51
GPS address for SatNav: 46.928148, 7.443661
Kornhauskeller, the stunning cellar restaurant is a result of preserved architecture of an old granary and contemporary additions. A visit here is akin to stepping into a yesteryear's cathedral with its luxurious architecture exuding an old world grandeur. The central wooden staircase, vaulted ceilings and striking Munger frescoes are a testimony to its elegance.
Its central restaurant a cafe, gallery and a lounge-bar stocked with an assortment of whiskeys, rums, and bourbons are incredible. Choose from an impressive menu of Mediterranean dishes, Swiss classics and the regal Bernese platter. This gourmet feast comprising of bacon, spare ribs, ham, sauerkraut, marrowbone, beans and potatoes is an extravagant affair.
Kornhauskeller, Kornhausplatz 18, CH-3000 Bern
Tel +41 31 327 72 72 www.kornhauskeller.ch
The charming city of Lucerne is where culture and culinary blend together in perfect harmony. Here, head to Zunftrestaurant Pfistern, Lucerne's only remaining guild house, now serving as a restaurant renowned for authentic Swiss cuisine. Zunftrestaurant Pfistern has got everything working in its favour, right from delectable food to its splendid setting in the heart of Lucerne, with magnificent views of the chapel bridge, Reuss River and the Alpine ranges.
The restaurant building itself stands out with the painted murals of Pfistern family tree on the front elevations. Whether you opt to dine on the sun terrace or inside the tastefully decorated rustic rooms, great food is a criteria always met here. With options like meat, fish and regional specialties, along with seasonal and authentic Lucerne cuisine, a guest is sure to be spoiled for choice. However, ordering the Luzerner Chugelipastete which is something akin to a meat pit, is an absolute must!
Kornmarkt 4, 6004 Luzern
Tel: +41 41 410 36 50
(parking adjoining Lucerne Train Station)
Swiss cuisine is incomplete without the mention of fondue; be it cheese, meat or chocolate. So, the next stop should be the Fondue House. The warm and cozy ambiance of this restaurant's artistically decorated wooden cabin, is perfect for relishing the finest fondues. .
Best way is to dip the cheese with bread, potatoes, veggies and meats. Though a fondue is a lot of cheese but once you start you don't know when to stop. Make sure to experiment with different fondue choices; you will be delightfully surprised at the end!
Eisengasse 15, 6004 Luzern
Tel: +41 41 412 37 37 www.fondue-house.ch
(parking adjoining Lucerne Train Station)
When in the exuberant city of Zurich, visiting the iconic Haus Hiltl Restaurant, the oldest (115 years) vegetarian restaurant in Europe is a must! It presents a spectacular buffet menu comprising more than 100 dishes, including an Indian buffet (25 specialties) all focusing on "healthy enjoyment." Located right next to the restaurant is yet another fascinating place, the vegetarian butcher shop!
Here, you have access to all kinds of veggie 'meat', including hamburgers, sausages, cordon bleus, and tartar. Apart from contemporary decor and a formal dining area, the stunning Haus Hiltl also doubles up as a bar, and a club on the weekends.
Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zurich
Tel: +41 44 227 70 00 www.hiltl.ch
(650m walk from Zurich Main station)
A trip to Switzerland can never be complete without savoring the flavours of handmade chocolates. So, head to Laderach Chocolates to devour some gorgeous handmade chocolates, pralines and truffles. These tantalizing treats available in a beautiful range are the perfect souvenirs to take back home.
Central station Shopville, Lowenpassage,
Tel: +41 44 212 18 48
(150m opposite Zurich Main Station)
Another fine example of Zurich's culinary creativity is Zunfthaus zur Waag! Located in the historic town square of Munsterhof, this restaurant is renowned for its magnificent Renaissance-inspired facade, and Zurich specialties like "Zurcher Geschnetzeltes" (sliced veal in a creamy gravy).
Munsterhof 8, 8001 Zurich
Tel: +41 44 216 99 66
(1 Km from Zurich Main Station)
The old town of St. Gallen is where you can enjoy a great hiking trip, and later refuel yourself with a traditional farmer's fare at the Unterer Brand! The delectable spread available at this charming little restaurant includes many rustic specialties, but the Barlauchravioli Pasta (Ravioli) made from fresh ingredients handpicked from the farm undoubtedly steals the show!
The wild garlic, especially, used in this dish makes a vivid centre for the ravioli, splashing colour onto the plate as you cut through! Generous serving of Gemischter Salat (German salad made using farm-grown eggs, mayo & lettuce dressed with sweet vinaigrette), further elevates the flavours of the scrumptious Ravioli. For dessert, don't forget to try the local specialty, Biberfladen. This traditional Swiss Gingerbread filled with almond paste is a temptation that you simply must give in to!
Unterer Brand, Brandstrasse 40, 9011 St.Gallen
Tel: +41 71 222 29 34
GPS address for SatNav: 47.408698, 9.381478
The culinary delights served at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz transport you away to a world where skill and authentic diversity tantalize your taste buds as never before. Every day they create new taste experiences for you in each of their grand total of eight restaurants.The combination of richly varied gourmet cuisine and stylish atmosphere will turn a visit into a feast for the senses.
Holder of 17 Gault Millau points and one Michelin star, virtuoso chef Roland Schmid creates authentic, refined gourmet dishes that are a real treat for your palate. The Abtestube has a top-class and cosy atmosphere, matching the style of the restored Palais building that dates back to the 18th century.
Bernhard -Simonstrasse, 7310 Bad Ragaz
Tel. +41 81 303 30 30 www.resortragaz.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.999616, 9.50327
A visit to St. Moritz is incomplete without taking in a skiing experience. An aerial cable car from the bottom station of the Diavolezza aerial cableway transports you to Berghaus Diavolezza. This natural amphitheatre is situated almost 3,000m above sea level, amidst the icy peaks of Bernina Massif. Diavolezza panorama terrace, behind the waiter-service tables, the snow- and ice-capped peaks of the Bernina massif are reflected in the huge glass windows.
But even those who prefer to help themselves to the lavish buffet will find a place on the sun terrace, from where they can also drink in the magnificent views all around while enjoying their menu. On her visit, MasterChef Shipra Khanna created a new recipe, 'SwissInd Chicken', offering the best of both worlds.
Hauptstrasse, 7524 Zuoz
Tel: +41 81 851 34 34 www.klarerconda.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.601846, 9.959491
Located in the lovely town of Zuoz, just 20 minutes away from St. Moritz is Klarer, a charming family-run hotel. Basking in the glory of Swiss traditions and French elegance, this hotel proudly stands in a 500 year old Engadine-style building. Furnished with lovely wooden furniture, antiques and memorabilia, none of the rooms here look alike.
The restaurant prides itself for using fresh ingredients and serving many local specialties, including Capuns, Bizochels, and various rosti dishes. At La cave cachee (the hotel's wine cellar), you have access to some of the finest French wines and to further sweeten the deal its own patisserie serves heavenly temptations!
St Moritz Mountains AG, 7504, Pontresina
Tel: +41 81 839 39 00 www.diavolezza.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.412172, 9.965082
Blessed with a scenic setting, Farm Terreni alla Maggia is spread across 150 hectare of land on the shores of the Maggi River. It welcomes tourists with a range of wholesome, organic produce; from chicken, fruits, soy, corn, pasta, flour and cornmeal mush to wine and beer! The Loto rice, secret to Ticino's mouth-watering risotto, is also cultivated on the properties of this beautiful farm.
After exploring the rice fields, head for the vineyards and the wine cellar. Experience a delicious combination of Swiss cheese, and some of the finest French wines! For those who love whisky, the farm (sole manufacturer of whisky in Ticino) offers the opportunity to sample the goodness of their rich single malt. While the guided tour ensures you experience the best of Farm Terreni alla Maggia, their shop helps you pick organically grown products to take back home.
Via Muraccio 105, 6612 Ascona
Tel: +41 (0)91 791 24 52 www.terreniallamaggia.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 46.153526, 8.7897490
With magnificent views of Ceresio and Lugano to give you company, while you savour the chef's divine creations, it's not difficult to understand why Grotto San Rocco is a tourist favorite. Let the southern flair charm you as you wine and dine in a typical grotto setting with a menu full of incredible Ticino specialties. Options like asparagus salad with strawberries & cured ham and caramelized apple may leave you a few notches wider on your belt, but truly satisfied.
Of course, the simple yet absolutely resplendent strawberries with cream for dessert should not be missed! without the mention of risotto and the highlight of Grotto San Rocco is its Risotto workshop! Here, guests have the opportunity! The list of specialties cannot be complete to cook their very own risotto under the guidance of chefs, and amidst an enchanting view on the grotto's sun terrace. A visit to Grotto San Rocco offers you a seamless blend of fine hospitality, scrumptious food, and magnificent vistas!
Via San Rocco 3, 6823 Caprino
Tel: +41 (0)91 923 98 60 www.grottosanrocco.ch
GPS address for SatNav: 45.985025, 8.979957